Gay and transgender activists have welcomed a judgement by the European Court of Human Rights on the rights of transgendered people in Lithuania.

On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg delivered its judgment in the case of L. v. Lithuania.

The Court said that while Lithuanian law had recognised transsexuals’ right to change not only their gender but also their civil status, there was a gap in the law regulating full gender reassignment surgery which created an impediment for transsexual people to complete this process.

It ruled therefore that Lithuania violated Article 8 (right to respect of private and family life) of the European Convention of Human Rights.

LGBT right group ILGA-Europe welcomed the judgement and said that the court has confirmed previously established principles that a transgender person has the right to full gender reassignment procedures and changes of his/her identity documents to reflect this change of gender.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said, “This case highlights a problem with some European countries which formally permit gender reassignment and amendment of identity documents but lack legal clarity and consistency and available medical facilities.”

The organisation said further that, “This case highlights the complexity and the need for better understanding of the issues that transgender people experience because of the legal and bureaucratic barriers they face.

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